Lockheed Martin tests ground-launch missile with double the range
Lockheed Martin has successfully tested the latest in its family of missiles. Its next generation Extended-Range Guided Multiple Launch Rocket System (ER GMLRS) reached a record 150 km (93 miles) at the White Sands Missile Range in New Mexico.
The recent test firing from a US Army HIMARS launcher was of the latest GMLRS missile, which not only boasts twice the range of previous iterations, but has a larger solid rocket motor and a tail-mounted guidance system that maintains its precision over the extended distance. In addition, the missile's transport and firing canister can fit in both the standard HIMARS launcher and the MLRS M270 family of launchers.
According to Lockheed, the test was not only of the missile itself, but also of its ability to integrate with the HIMARS system. Going beyond this, the missile and canister were subjected to what is called Stockpile to Target Sequence (STS) testing, which saw them bashed about in the same way an operational round is when being delivered from factory to battlefield.
The test of the ER GMLRS highlights the current evolution of the US conventional arsenal as increasing aid to Ukraine to fight the Russian invasion depletes American weapon stockpiles, sparking an effort to replace them with more advanced versions.
"This test demonstrates nearly double the range, while maintaining the precision GMLRS is known for," said Jay Price, vice president of Precision Fires at Lockheed Martin Missiles and Fire Control. "Lockheed Martin is committed to advancing this critical capability on a rapid timeline for our Army customer, and this test moves ER GMLRS one step closer to fielding."
Source: Lockheed Martin